You are sure to feel fine if you are aware that your car is in a safe and secure place while you are on your cruise holiday. Thankfully, a number of car parking services are available around the Southampton port area to make things easier for you. You need to find out a number of things about the service such as security, convenience and cost.
Before that, you need to make sure you find out about the small things that matter.
When do you pay? Most car parking services require you to pay the entire amount before they confirm your booking. However, some also offer the option to pay when you arrive at the cruise terminal. It is often best to pay it in advance and confirm the service.
How do you pay? Different services may accept payment in different ways. While cash works for almost all, you may also do it online. To do this, you may have to use your credit or debit card. Keep in mind, there may be additional charges if you use your credit card for the payment. Some services also accept payment via secure gateways such as PayPal.
How is the booking confirmed? If you are booking the service online, they often send you an email with the confirmation and the booking number. If you are doing it over the telephone, you may receive the confirmation via mail.
Who keeps the car keys? This depends on the type of service you choose. If you choose a ‘meet and greet’ service, the representative takes the keys, the driver takes your car to the parking area and the service keeps the keys in a secure place. If you choose a ‘park and ride’ service, you can keep the keys with you on the cruise.
Who parks the car? With a ‘park and ride’ option, you have to park the car on your own. However, if you opt for a ‘meet and greet’ service, a trained, licensed and insured driver would take it to the designated area.
Where is the parking lot? Ask about the location of the parking lot. Even if a driver takes your car to the lot, it is best to know all about the place it would be kept. Pay attention to the security arrangements there. Ask for directions or a detailed map if you have to park the vehicle on your own.
How do you cancel the booking? Every service has a cancellation policy that you need to read carefully before you book the space. If you don’t understand anything, such as when you need to cancel to get a refund, call the service and ask.
Is a refund possible? Many of the Southampton cruise port parking services offer a refund against a cancellation, minus the processing charges, if you do it within a specified time, which is usually 24 hours prior to the booking. Some services also offer cancellation waivers that you can get for an additional sum.
How do you change the booking? If the cruise date or time is modified, you need to notify this to the car parking service immediately. In most cases, they are capable of adjusting the duration without any extra charges; however, you had better ask this.
What happens if your cruise returns late? At times, a cruise duration may need to be extended beyond the regular period. In such a case, some services have the option where you can notify them about this change in schedule and they accommodate it. They would charge you for the extra days your car is in their parking lot.
It is best to find out the little details before you book a space for your car at the port.
Ethan Roberts is a parking specialist with years of experience in these services. He shares handy tips and suggestions and interesting bits of information about cruise parking at Southampton. If you want to leave your car in a safe and secure place near the dock, he suggests that this can be your best bet.